Navigation Links
Worldwide mission to solve iron deficiency

A University of Adelaide researcher will lead an Australian project to help address the world's biggest nutritional deficiency lack of iron.

Dr Alex Johnson has been awarded nearly $300,000 to work with the Bill Gates-funded HarvestPlus Challenge Program to increase iron content in rice and other cereal grains.

More than two billion people or 30% of the world's population suffer from iron deficiency, which can cause anaemia, poor mental development, fertility problems and a depressed immune system.

Dr Johnson, who is based at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the Waite Campus, will work on increasing iron content in cereal foods by improving the delivery of iron from the leaf to the seed.

"Iron content is quite low in cereal grains because although iron is present in a plant's leaves, very little of that iron is transported to the seed, which is the part that is consumed by humans.

"We know of several proteins that move iron around in a plant so it is a matter of increasing the flow of iron into a seed tissue called endosperm, which survives the milling and polishing process."

If this can be achieved, the benefits to developing countries in particular will be enormous, Dr Johnson says.

Rice and wheat, the two most widely consumed cereals in developing countries, transport only a small fraction of iron to the developing grain 5% for rice and 20% for wheat. Furthermore, the small amount of iron that is retained accumulates almost exclusively in the outer layers, which are removed during the milling process so that grain can be stored for long periods.

"In the western world we can get around this problem by adding various compounds to flour to make it rich in iron. But iron fortification of flour is only economical for developed countries. Poor nations can't afford this so we have to find a sustainable way of increasing iron in the milled seed."

Higher iron content could also lower the production costs of many Australian farmers by reducing or eliminating the need for iron fortification of wheat flour.


Contact: Dr. Alex Johnson
University of Adelaide

Related biology news :

1. Worldwide atmospheric measurements will determine the role of atmospheric fine particles
2. DOE JGI releases soybean genome assembly to enable worldwide bioenergy research efforts
3. Oceanic sharks worldwide at serious risk from high-seas fishing, rising demand for shark products
4. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
5. CO2 emissions could violate EPA ocean-quality standards within decades
6. Groundbreaking Canada-US study proves link between emissions and mercury pollution in fish
7. RIT to study air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the Great Lakes region
8. Decline in uptake of carbon emissions confirmed
9. Change-1 -- new mission to Moon lifts off
10. US faces burning emissions issue
11. Biodiesel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Worldwide mission to solve iron deficiency
(Date:11/20/2015)... , November 20, 2015 ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... Gino Pereira , was recently interviewed on ... will air on this weekend on Bloomberg Europe ... America . --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015 Paris from ... --> Paris from 17 th until ... biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner in ... same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were required: ... can capture both on the same surface. This innovation ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that stayed ... dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for treating ... the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the ... . Cell, pinpoints a protective ... the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. (HART) ... bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening conditions, today announced ... Stock Market that it has regained compliance with ... that as a result of the closing bid ... per share for more than ten consecutive business ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  Champions Oncology, Inc. (CSBR), engaged in ... personalize the development and use of oncology drugs, today ... will be presenting at the LD MICRO Investor Conference ... Time (PST).  The conference, held at the Luxe Sunset ... , will feature 200 small/micro-cap companies and is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... -- Aytu BioScience, Inc. (OTCQB: AYTU), a commercial-stage specialty healthcare ... at two upcoming investor conferences. Aytu is scheduled to ... to be held December 3, 2015, and at LD ... 2 nd & 3 rd , 2015 in ... via webcast. Josh Disbrow , Chief Executive ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider, creating a seamless approach to ... Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust set of semantic tools which create ...
Breaking Biology Technology: